Airing on Channel 4 tonight is The Disappearance of April Jones – a documentary looking into the tragic murder of five-year-old April Jones – 10 years after she was abducted.

The three-parter looks back on the hunt for April, which became one of the biggest searches in UK police history, as the people of Machynlleth joined the Dyfed-Powys Police as they tried to find the child.

Told through the eyes of "the investigators who worked on the case, specialist volunteers who searched the remote terrain surrounding the town, journalists who arrived in huge numbers to face a sometimes uneasy local response, and lawyers who mounted a challenging murder prosecution", this docuseries looks at how April's murderer was tracked down.

Here's everything you need to know about The Disappearance of April Jones ahead of it airing tonight.

Who is April Jones?

April Jones - Family Issued Image
April Jones. April Jones - Family Issued Image

April Jones was a five-year-old from the Welsh market town of Machynlleth who went missing on 1st October 2012.

On the night of her disappearance, she asked her parents to let her play outside with her friend on the Bryn-y-Gog housing estate, and after she "kept asking to be allowed outside", her parents gave in. "Less than 20 minutes later she was gone, never to be seen again," WalesOnline wrote.

The police began searching for April that night, with a seven-year-old eyewitness telling them that she had been taken in a grey van and had a "happy face" as she got in.

The case was branded a "critical incident" by Dyfed Powys police and over the following days, people from across Machynlleth joined in the hunt for April, making it the biggest search in UK police history.

On Friday 5th October, the family's neighbour Mark Bridger, who had moved to the property five weeks before, was arrested by police as a person of interest.

What happened to April Jones?

After Bridger was spotted carrying a black bin bag close to a river bank, police began working on his background and he was officially made a suspect. The authorities then searched his home and found traces of burnt bone in a woodburner, "consistent with a juvenile human skull", BBC News wrote.

Police also noticed that the cottage had been extensively cleaned and found a library of child sex abuse images on his computer, including Facebook picture of local young girls including April and her sisters.

While Bridger was arrested and sentenced for her murder, April's remains were never found, with Bridger telling the court in 2013 that he had accidentally run April over and could not recall where he had placed her body.

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According to BBC News, Bridger later told a prison priest that he disposed of April's body in a river.

Who killed April Jones?

Mark Bridger at Mold Magistrates Court on May 30, 2013.
Mark Bridger at Mold Magistrates Court on May 30, 2013. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Mark Bridger was convicted for the abduction and murder of April Jones in May 2013 and sentenced to life in prison, being unanimously convicted by a jury.

The judge branded him a "liar, fantasist and killer" and said that the evidence demonstrated that Bridger was "a pathological and glib liar".

"There is no doubt in my mind that you are a paedophile who has for some time harboured sexual and morbid fantasies about young girls, storing on your laptop not only images of pre-pubescent and pubescent girls but foul pornography of the gross sexual abuse of young children," Mr Justice John Griffith Williams added.

The Disappearance of April Jones airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4.

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